Lady Cougars, EC boys keep hold of lacrosse bragging rights
by Chris Goltermann
Even in high school lacrosse, becoming a winner is as important as staying dominant once you’re on top. Especially when it comes to playing your closest rivals.
In each case, Newnan’s girls and East Coweta’s boys took care of business on Tuesday to open lacrosse’s version of “Coweta Cup” at Garland Shoemake Stadium.
The Lady Cougars stayed unbeaten against their closest rivals in their six-year lacrosse history and the Indians kept bragging rights for a second straight year in a pair of lopsided victories.
Newnan’s girls rolled to a 15-2 victory while holding on to the No. 4 seed in Area 1-AAAAAA while East Coweta’s boys equally dominated in a 15-1 win behind the goalkeeping of junior Brian DeBole and four power-play tallies.
The Indians converted 4 of 6 man-up situations while led by Lee Steed’s five goals, including the first two of the game. After watching the Cougars convert their only power-play goal — and the only shot to get past DeBole — the Indians closed the first quarter with three unanswered goals to take a 5-1 lead and control of the game.
This week’s round-robin tournament between county lineups continues Thursday with Northgate playing East Coweta on Thursday at Shoemake Stadium. Newnan travels to Northgate on Friday in the last of three intra-county doubleheaders.
Despite losing over 10 seniors — two of which shared Times-Herald co-Players of the Year honors — the Lady Cougars continued its unbeaten streak against the Lady Indians while also beginning to find another strong nucleus to build on.
Sydney Garmany scored five goals and added an assist as one of three Newnan players to post multiple-goal games. Defensively, the team built a 9-1 lead at halftime and kept East Coweta’s girls pinned in their own zone throughout the final 25 minutes.
“They’re coming along nicely,” said Lady Cougars coach Robert Skinner. “We lost some games early that we really shouldn’t have. A lot of that was inexperience.”
Savannah Ohliger continues to emerge as a top scorer for Newnan after losing Maggie McDaniel and McKynsey Douglas — both playing college lacrosse — to graduation. The pair accounted for 137 goals last year.
Ohilger finished with four goals and an assist while Courtney Darrow also scored twice.
Sable Hawkins finished with a goal and two assists while Anna Jarrett and Kerrie Head also scored in the win.
Both tallies from the Lady Indians, who lost standout Cheyenne St. Germaine to a knee injury in the second half, came from Yehong Zhu on opposite ends of halftime.
East Coweta’s boys, meanwhile, took control with three unanswered goals to close the first quarter after Cougar attack Zach Keene bounced home a shot past DeBole off from the right side from a tough angle.
The junior goalie, however, stoned a depleted Newnan lineup the rest of the way, making two key point-blank saves to rob Davis Ozier twice midway through the second quarter in a 6-1 Indians lead.
DeBole made a third stop on a high shot toward the crossbar with 3:49 left in the period with East Coweta shorthanded. Only moments after killing off the Newnan penalty, Adam Cahir grabbed a loose ball and fired a shot into the net at the 2:26 mark to eventually take a 7-1 lead into halftime.
Juniors Seth Strickland, Logan Wilson and Sam Thomas led the defensive effort in front of DeBole.
Bryce Durden added a hat-trick for East Coweta, scoring twice in the final two periods after taking a set-up from Carter Byrum behind the net.
Midfielder Caleb Dailey added two goals, initially getting on the scoreboard with a strong second-effort.Junior Conner McMeen also scored twice in the win, his second tally coming just 37 seconds into the third quarter.